National Security and the Free Society

Arthur Seldon on his book Capitalism (1990): "how much government power there would now be if Britain were a newly discovered country devising the ideal form of government. . . .What would it be doing in the archetypal public good defence? Would it be spending as much as it has been, or less? We cannot tell, because democratic politics in the polling booth provides no way of discovering public opinion on separate acts of government. Decision-making by elected government seems the only feasible way for defence, a public good." He continues, "But must defence products be manufactured by government in ordnance factories? Hardly, because it is possible to obtain quotations form several British (and overseas) firms to discover the best terms for the taxpayer." Capitalism, p. 235.

Older Articles

New publication about China in Latin America by Evan Ellis. He sent it with this caveat. The piece appears in the attachment at the bottom of this web page. I attach his contact information in case you want to interview or contact the author.

"I hope that this email finds you well. I am writing to share with you my latest publication, "China-Latin America Engagement: Good Will, Good Business, and Strategic Position," which has just been published as a monograph by the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. The

article details recent PRC military activities in Latin America, not only with respect to arms sales, but also leadership visits, officer exchanges, institutional contacts, Chinese military presence in the region, and commercial interactions with strategic implications. I emphasize that such interactions are much more significant, and are growing much faster than is commonly recognized. Nonetheless, I also emphasize that such engagement should not be interpreted through a "cold

war" lens of a hostile power seeking to establish bases or exclusive military alliances in the region.

Rather, military engagement is one tool among many, through which the PRC is pursuing its strategic interests in the region; such engagement provides important, often overlooked benefits such as solidifying political relationships with a country and understanding of its dynamics in a region in which the military is often one of society's strongest

institutions; developing strategically important technology sectors such as military goods (just as it is moving up the value added chain with respect to computers, IT goods, autos and heavy machinery), and laying the groundwork for future cooperation in the protection of Chinese companies and personnel in the region, as the Chinese human footprint

and commercial interests there grow.

It is my hope that this piece is not interpreted as "alarmist," but rather, contributes to the discourse about the expanding and evolving nature of PRC engagement with Latin America in general, and how the US can work with our Latin American partners, as well as the Chinese, to manage the risks, and help our partners take advantage of the opportunities presented by this phenomenon . . .

As always, I very much welcome your feedback on what I have written, and hope that this (admittedly impersonal) way of communicating may serve as a vehicle for keeping in touch regarding developments in this field...

Warm regards,

Evan Ellis

Dr. R. Evan Ellis

Assistant Professor of National Security Studies, Modeling, Gaming &


Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

260 5th St. Building 64 (Lincoln Hall)

Ft. McNair, DC 20319-5066

Fixed Voice: 202 685-4195

Mobile: 703 328-7770

Fax: 202 685-4675

web site

Free society champions views on defense and security:

Antony Fisher

Ludwig von Mises